WEST JORDAN — Utah Army National Guard Lt. Col. Gordon D. Behunin, deputy commander of 97th Aviation Troop Command, has been promoted to colonel.

Behunin's father, Dean Behunin, did the honors in removing his oak-leafed, lieutenant colonel rank from his flight suit and replacing it with an eagle with outstretched wings, the insignia for colonel.

A South Jordan resident, Behunin graduated from Brighton High School. He enlisted in the Utah Army Guard’s 2-222nd Field Artillery in 1984. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1987, serving in Special Forces and Aviation units. He attended pilot training in 1990-91 and is currently qualified to fly the AH-64 Apache Longbow and UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters.

During his 30-year military career, Behunin has served as an operations officer, battalion commander and most recently as 97th Aviation Troop Command deputy commander. He has also held various full-time assignments in the Utah National Guard to include comptroller/financial manager and commander of the Army Aviation Support Facility in West Jordan.

Behunin is a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, serving with the Utah Guard’s 1-211th Aviation in Afghanistan in 2004-2005. His full-time assignment is as administrative officer for 97th Aviation Troop Command.

His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star, Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and Senior Army Aviation Badge.